Conceived by John Cussans and Randy Lee Cutler in Vancouver in Summer 2000, the Bughouse began as a collective celebration of the work of the science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick. Imagined as a virtual clinic, the Bughouse used the internet for experiments in group authorship and collective ‘biografictions’ using methods derived from group psychology, Surrealism and parapsychology. The project began with a simultaneous reading of Dick’s 1974 novel Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said on Valentine’s Day 2001.
The first phase of this project culminated in Project VALIS, a multi-media public event that took place simultaneously in London and Vancouver on March 2nd, 2002, the 20th anniversary of Dick’s death in 1982. Participating artists included BANK, Velveeta Crisp, Randy Lee Cutler, Mark Fisher, Margarita Gluzberg, Intermission, Kode 9, Chad McCail, The Nazgûl and Orphandrift. Various collectively authored artworks and performances were created for Project VALIS including a 60 minute soundtrack created by Colin Lane and Percy Greenfield (aka Grayvoid) which can be heard here. Below are images of The Nazgûl (aka Alec Dippie and Toby Robinson) performing on the evening.
The second phase began in Slovenia in 2002 when John Cussans and Margarita Gluzberg began investigating reports about a gathering of Soviet parapsychologists at a hotel in Ljubljana in 1973.
During this phase Ben Wallers and Alistair Mackinven from the band Country Teasers created the space-rock band Cünst for the project. They played their first gig at the Octopad in Stoke Newington on June 13th, 2003. Between June and November 2003 the Bughouse convened a number of channeling sessions involving invited artists and performers that generated new material for future public events. This phase culminated in ‘The Findings of the Ideoplasmic Congress’ event at the Trocadero cinema in London on Nov. 3rd, 2003. The event involved a live performance Cünst (which can be heard here) and a live mix of my video Haunted by the Future combined with work by Oreet Ashery, Oli Frost, Margarita Gluzberg, Alun Marshall, Alenka Pirman, Peter Rockmount and Mark Ariel Waller.
The Bughouse collective created an experimental audio-work to accompany the launch of John Russell’s Frozen Tears II at the Cabinet Gallery in May 2004. The work, based on readings from Frozen Tears I, includes contributions by Natasha Desmarais, Margarita Gluzberg, Peter Rockmount and Simon Thompson, mixed and produced by Alec Dippie. Here you can hear The Vampire from that work. In June 2005 The Buhgouse performed ‘A Journey to the Seven Seas’ at Le Confort Moderne, Poitiers, France with Cünst, Ellen Cantor, Margarita Gluzberg and Peter Rockmount, at the opening of Fabien Adéoud and John Russell’s show ‘Why do Women Like Hell?’ Between 2002 and 2005 several members of the Bughouse group worked on an experimental, multi-authored text on the wiki platform hosted by Mute magazine. A version of this text was published as ‘Wiki-Waka 100 Edit’ in Plastazine Fantastazine (2011) Article Press: Birmingham.